Coal India in talks with Peabody Energy for $1-billion stake

State-run Coal India is in advanced stages of negotiations with US-based Peabody Energy Corporation for a stake in four of its Australian mines, as well as other international assets, in a deal worth over $1 billion.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday, citing Phalguni Guha, chief general manager of Coal India's foreign-venture arm, Coal Videsh, that he expected to close the deal with Peabody in the next few months.

The deal could include mines that produce both thermal coal and metallurgical coal of Peabody in the US, Indonesia as well as Australia.
St. Louis, Missouri-based Peabody Energy had 9.0 billion tonnes of proven and probable coal reserves as of 31 December 2009 and revenues of $5.4 billion in 2009.

Peabody Pacific, the Australian subsidiary of Peabody Energy is one of Australia's largest mining companies having 10 mines in Queensland and New South Wales.

Currently Peabody, the world's largest private-sector coal company is involved in a complex $3.27-billion takeover attempt of Brisbane-based Macarthur Coal, a supplier of low-volatile pulverised injection coal to steel mills in Asia, Europe and Brazil.

But Macarthur has rejected Peabody's sweetened unsolicited bid last week, (See: Macarthur Coal rejects Peabody Energy's sweetened $3.27 billion takeover offer) and even rejected a $3.44-billion offer from fellow local coal miner New Hope Corporation. (See: Macarthur Coal becomes hot property as more buyers enter fray)